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Daniel2

Caravan to Mexico?

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We are Daniel & Robin Welsh. I'm 73, my wife is a few years younger. I'm a retired commercial artist and she  a teacher. Back in the 80's we had several trailers, and a 28 ft Winnebago motorhome.  We took a RV hiatus until May of 2017 when we bought a used Neismann Bischoff motorhome in Germany and travelled Europe from Montenegro to Portugal, Spain to Wales and everywhere in between for 17 months.

So someone told us about Escapees when we were in a campground in England and we just joined recently.

Back in the early 80's I went all over Mexico and have thought about going down there again. We especially were thinking about going to San Miguel de Allende.  Are there ever any groups that go into Mexico as a caravan of 2 or 3 RV's?

 

 

 

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I wagon master for a company that does caravans. San Miguel is a stop although I much prefer nearby Guanajuato.  Caravans de Mexico is the only company running english language caravans deep into Mainland Mexico these days. You can safely RV in Mexico on your own, but a caravan the first time is not a bad idea.

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13 hours ago, telcoman said:

I wagon master for a company that does caravans. San Miguel is a stop although I much prefer nearby Guanajuato.  Caravans de Mexico is the only company running english language caravans deep into Mainland Mexico these days. You can safely RV in Mexico on your own, but a caravan the first time is not a bad idea.

I've known this guy (telcoman) for almost 14 years and have "caravan" traveled with him on his first Mexico tour about 5 years ago (or was it longer)?  He knows travel and I would recommend his expertise.  He probably hesitates to capitalize on this forum for commercial purposes, so let me do it for him.

The organized caravan seems expensive but it is a good value.  All the work is done for you except the driving.  The Mexican Auto Club (called Green Angels) accompanies caravan travel - providing emergency service if needed, and blocking traffic in the more urban areas to allow passage of the caravan.   

While one cannot pick the group that travels in the caravan, everyone is like-minded when it comes to RV-ing, exploration and adventure.    It's a lot of fun and the more I think about it, I might do it again next year.

Here's the website: https://www.mexicorvbuddies.com/index.php
See you on the road. . .

 

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Thanks for the plug Rich. I no longer lead any personally myself although I often help take people out and end of season, many want to extend trips, so I have done that. I had a very serious accident in Canada in June and I am still a bit nervous driving an RV (see Rollover ). Gabriel was with me and we both survived with just whiplash and concussions. Anyone in the back seat would have been killed as it was really flattened. Worst thing was the engine was still running, I could not reach the key and one of the propane tanks on the hitch had been compromised. I could smell propane very strongly. It took a minute to get my belt off so i could switch it off. Terrifying.  Had to go get pysch help after that, lots of nightmares. Good thing was the dash cam absolved me of all blame. I have now bought a Cruise America rental return Class C which I intend to store in Villa Corona starting in 2020. This year is a shakedown trip and I am noting things I need to work on over next summer, before I do that. It is very low slung so I have to drive it carefully down here, but it will likely only be driving between Guadalajara & Melaque each season. I have scraped the generator exhaust pipe a couple of times. If I lead another caravan it will be in a pickup truck, using rooms. I probably will do that for the  total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024 in Mazatlan. There are already dozens interested in that, they will need lots of wagon masters. it will be total from Celestino down to Teacapan, and also in Durango. Maybe you 2 would be interested? Probably do some including copper canyon and some not.

 

The caravan company owner is a good friend, I even had his son (Bernardo) with me for summer to learn English. I still help him with his website and do some scouting for him and help his customers with all the paperwork. You have to  stay busy when your retired or you're dead. There is a 3 month Yucatan loop in Jan 2020. I have led 2 over that route myself, and Kevin & Ruth Read did one last spring. A lot tougher with more dry camping, but sure interesting. We got into remote ruins hardly anyone goes in to, like Calakmul. Besides the previous customer discount you are entitled to, we could probably use Sylvia as a translator and Spanish teacher on that one, as the Wagon Masters are just learning Spanish.  They are fluent in English & French. Mike & Louise. Mike is retired RCMP. They are leading an Airstream caravan this season. First Airstream caravan into Mexico in decades. Silver sausages they call them down here.

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We have been traveling to Mexico for over 35 years and also to Guatemala Central America and even to Argentina for more information www.adventuretrekcom

Information on maps road logs hand border regulations

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Mexico, in my opinion and in the US State Dept's opinion, is unsafe to travel in. Read this 21 dead near border

add to this the massacre a couple weeks ago of the Mormons including children and infants. There is unending open warfare.

The country is out of control. Their government says they are going to tame the cartels with 'love' not guns. They are so corrupt that they cannot beat the cartels back. President Trump has justifiably classified the cartels as terrorists.

The place is an out of control war zone and anyone who travels down there is asking for trouble. May as well travel to Syria

 

Edited by agesilaus

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Yes Mexico does have its problems most by the border areas but once you’re past that area and in at least a day in the Mexico conditions are much better.  We have traveled Mexico for over 35 years spending six months or more a year in Mexico traveling with trailer camper and motorhome.  
our last 10 years we have spent mostly on the east coast of Mexico traveling by way of Veracruz crossed the isthmus and down into Guatemala also traveled many times to Costa Rica and Panama central America has much cheaper fuel and better highways than Mexico.

There is a great camping resort in Guatemala called AUTOMARISCOS Located between the coast and Guatemala City on Highway CA9, this is a full-service campground with hook ups and natural hot spring resort pools Jacuzzi and sauna’s.  Most of the campers we’ve met here are either German or French Canadian.

If you need anymore information please PM me

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On 11/29/2018 at 10:32 PM, Daniel2 said:

Thanks eveyone for the info. I will definitely check out those leads.

Since this person asked his questions just over a year ago, I highly suspect that his travel is well along if it hasn't been completed. Daniel2 last signed into the forums on Dec. 12, 2018. 

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QUOTE:

Mexico, in my opinion and in the US State Dept's opinion, is unsafe to travel in. Read this 21 dead near border

add to this the massacre a couple weeks ago of the Mormons including children and infants. There is unending open warfare.

The country is out of control. Their government says they are going to tame the cartels with 'love' not guns. They are so corrupt that they cannot beat the cartels back. President Trump has justifiably classified the cartels as terrorists.

The place is an out of control war zone and anyone who travels down there is asking for trouble. May as well travel to Syria

I am guessing you don't live int he United States or you never read a newspaper.

 

I live 6-7 months a year in Mexico. Over the last 12-13 years I have driven the entire country with no issue nor have I seen any issue. It is pretty much calling the kettle black to point out dangers in Mexico when people in the US are beinbg shot to death at random in Walmarts, at country music concerts, movie theatres, schools, and county fairs. Heck even in Canada last summer 2 RV'ers were murdered in Northern BC. The Mormon incident was bad, but these folks were interferring with cartels in a remote cartel controlled area and were targeted. That is the big point about violence in Mexico, it is largely targeted, while a lot of violence in the US appears to be random. You can generally avoid being a target, you cannot avoid random. To be honenst I feel less safe in Europe than I do in Mexico with the increase in terrorism. I spent the last 2 summers there. I was in London during the first London Bridge incident (the other was this week) and I was in France when people were ploughed down there by  truck. You are now reminded of it by armoured vehicles blocking streets with access to tourist attractions

 

BTW the couple murdered for their RV in Texas in late October were killed by Americans, not Mexicans, they just drove the RV into Mexico to try and dissappear. Someone in the facebook group I admin, where I posted theri info, recognized them and reported them to the Police who very quickly shipped them back to the US.

I guess if you want to be safe you can stay in your house, but then again you may not be safe there. Living in fear is not living.

Don't be scared to RV in Mexico, 1000's of us do it every year. Just stay away from drugs and people who are involved in them

 

BTW here is where I am right now, near Guadalajara:

VC1.JPG

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Edited by telcoman

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We put our 5 year oid grandaughter in preschool down here 2 years running. Statistically she was a lot safer than she would have been in a US School.

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OK next item

I don't recall hearing about shootouts in the US where the criminals are allowed to win and to recover arrested criminals from jail. They took police hostage and were allowed to walk away as winners. Can you imagine that happening in NYC for example? That happened a few weeks ago in Mexico. In the El Paso area?

And I don't recall massacres of scores of citizens by the police, like happened in southern Mexico.  Or this in Coahilla.

Or the fact that 130 politicians have been killed down there: link

Or here is a whole series of links.

So do not even try to compare that War Zone to the US.

 

 

 

 

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Whatever the circumstances, dead is dead like hundreds of school children all over the US, Walmart shoppers in Texas, concert go'ers in Vegas. All still dead (including a friend of mine in the Vegas incident). And has it stopped? No. So obviously the laws and police in the US are not doing a very good job at it,  just as in Mexico, as mass killings happen nearly every day in the good ole USA. The only diference I see, is that you generally have to have a good reason to be shot in Mexico, not just doing your weekly shopping at a Walmart or enjoying a concert with friends (If you can call Country music enjoyable). I am not kidding when I say I feel a lot safer down here in my RV than I do in many parts of the US. I was a block away in Tucson when Gabby was shot, that was a wake up call. I certainly feel a lot safer than I do in Europe these days. Regardless I did not work 35 years to spend my retirement in a kevlar vest on my couch. I have actually become so fond of this country I am taking out resident status next month. I like a country where teenagers sit in the town square with their parents on a  Saturday night rather than hanging around a 7-11 making mischief, and where people see you stopped for lunch on the roadside and stop and ask you if you need help. Last time I saw that in the US or Canada was in the 1950"s. Most Americans have a very distorted view of this country. Selective blindness, focusing on bad incidents here while ignoring all the crap that happens every day at home. Even in the Vancouver area of Canada where I live 1/2 the year, there now are weekly killings related to drugs, often in very public places. the world is a dangerous place, but living in  paranoia, is not living.

 

Regardless, it is a personal choice. if you you dont feel comfortable, stay at home, but don't tell the rest of us where we should or should not go., unless based on personal experience.

BTW, I have been to Syria and Afghanistan ( I do not recommend either at this time, no comment on Somalia as I have not been there)

 

Also, Canada now has a travel warning out about the US.

 

Edited by telcoman

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28 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

OK next item

I don't recall hearing about shootouts in the US where the criminals are allowed to win and to recover arrested criminals from jail. They took police hostage and were allowed to walk away as winners. Can you imagine that happening in NYC for example? That happened a few weeks ago in Mexico. In the El Paso area?

And I don't recall massacres of scores of citizens by the police, like happened in southern Mexico.  Or this in Coahilla.

Or the fact that 130 politicians have been killed down there: link

Or here is a whole series of links.

So do not even try to compare that War Zone to the US.

If you aren't interested in going to Mexico, don't go.  Why waste the time arguing with others who have been going down there for years and are perfectly comfortable doing so? We have some friends who bought a place down there a few years ago and have just gained resident status to live down there permanently.  They are not stupid people, and have chosen to live there knowing all of the facts. 

My wife and I are taking a birding trip to Columbia (the country in South America) next spring. Half of the people that I've mentioned it to are shocked and tell me that they'd NEVER consider going there.  My response is "I understand that you're not interested in visiting Columbia. But we are looking forward to our trip."  That's it.  No need to argue or try to convince them otherwise.  

Unless you just like to argue...

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You have a point. But there is some responsibility to warn those who may not have been following the news. I've been to Mexico 4 or 5 times tho I have to confess these were just cross border day trips. And in the right area I'd do it again, but not to Nuevo Larado. If people want to take the risk then it isn't my place to try to stop them. But the people who try to paint a picture of the place that just does not conform to reality are just misguided.

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Do you really feel like it is your responsibility to "warn those who may not have been following the news"?  Nonsense. 

These are all adults making adult decisions.  Other people on this thread are simply relating their real-world experiences in Mexico. 

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nuevo laredo, cuidad jarez are bad news, I avoid both. If I cross at Laredo, I use columbia bridge. It is a completely diferent country 100 miles south of the border. Like in a pond, the scum rises to the surface. I have lost count of the number of times people have given me the shirt off their back and asked for nothing in retrun. There are bad people everywhere, but a heck of lot of good people as well.

Edited by telcoman

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1 hour ago, telcoman said:

cuidad jarez are bad news,

That's a shame, back in the 80s and 90s we went there alot.  Any family that came to visit us always asked for a trip there to the big market.  We loved it but have heard it's not a good place to visit anymore.  I would love to see it return to the way it used to be, we enjoyed it very much.  Last fall I talked to a Mexican family up here for the harvest.  They said it is much safer than alot of the USA they go to work at.  He said don't be rude or mix it up with one of the cartel ppl and you will have no problems.  Basically, he said don't ask for trouble and you won't get it.  I should have gotten their contact info, would have been fun to go visit them someday.

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I think common sense should rule the day, not fear. Yes, anywhere you go is dangerous; some more dangerous than others, but there are things you can do to minimize those dangers. I grew up in New Orleans, a very dangerous place. Heck 13 people were shot there this weekend. There are places there I wouldn't go there at night. Going during the day, especially with a group of people minimizes the risks. 

I'm wintering over in Los Indios, TX right now. Just last week 3 people were shot, not 2 miles from my RV park just across the border in MX, so yes even this, a relatively "safe" area can be dangerous. But will I let this discourage me from visiting Mexico? No.

I will be crossing the border tomorrow, but I will be doing so during the day and with a group who make this trip all the time. Plus I will be choosing a "safer" border crossing. In this area, the locals say that the border crossing into Nuevo Progreso is considered the safest, so that's where we will be visiting. Would I wander through this Mexican border town alone and at night? Certainly not, but I'm sure there are places in Mexico where this is relatively safe to do so, just as they are here - and equally certain there are other places where it is not.

I believe in doing whatever I can to minimize my risks wherever I am, as is prudent, but I won't allow unjustified fear to ruin my life. And the best way to eliminate fear is knowledge and planning. If I decided to take my RV deep into Mexico, it would be well planned and I would go with a caravan that has proven to do so safely many times, as I would be wary of corrupt police and authorities as much as MS-13, cartels or random bad guys. I would definitely learn from the experience of others, like Telcoman who I trust, having done so safely for many years, before hazarding to venture out on my own. But isn't that just common sense? 

Chip

Edited by sushidog

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Good post. Of course one should exercise caution at all times no matter where yoyu are. Shit can happen. Everyone in Canada was shocked in August when the American-Australian couple were murdered in Northern BC. You never know when your number is up.

 

Sushidog were we on a couple of forums together a few years back? Your handle looks familiar. If so, you probably rememeber wanderingjays (john Seymour). He passed away 2 weeks ago.

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Nice to catch up with old friends, Chip. I don't know if you remember Mainecoons (Dan). I had breakfast with him & his wife in Chapala last week. We have kept in touch. They have lived down here for several years now. I used to vist John when I passed through Redding. His health was not great. Heck of a nice guy. I actually got the news via Joe Capps. He has now moved back to NY. I was planning to drop by on my way south but ended up going down through Nevada instead. Wish I hadn't now.

 

If you are still active any of those forums, maybe you can pass it on. I tried to send an email to the admin of the congress (spacebeing?), but I am  not sure if he will get it as I am no longer active there.

 

Paul

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10 hours ago, agesilaus said:

. . .But there is some responsibility to warn those who may not have been following the news. . .

And there it is.  The "news" - that distorted presentation that mongers fear to the public.
We refer to the five o'clock news as "The Crime Report" - or who-killed-who. . .or who molested who. . .ad nauseam. . .

Thanks for the warning.

 

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